Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last Call for Fearless February SA participants!!!

We're just 2 days away from February and it's so great that many of you have joined in with the Fearless February Sew-Along (details HERE). Your energy and determination to be a fearless sewer is palpable!!! You've definitely inspired me and have got me pumped up and ready to jump in and tackle some new projects. The thing I love about this sew-along is you get to pick what you want and go at your own pace. There's no pressure. You can take on one project or several. The important thing is that you dive into some new territory and push yourself---and that at least for one month, we're kicking fear to the curb and just going for it!!!! Remember we've got nothing to lose and a whole lotta' knowledge and experience to gain.

As I mentioned before I wanted to create a list of the participants so that everyone can stay abreast of everyone else's progress--and more importantly cheer them on!!!  So I took the liberty of compiling a participant list based on the feedback I received from my first post HERE.  If you're participating and you don't see your name/blog below please let me know. If you want your name removed also let me know. I know some of you chimed in but don't have blogs. I'd still love to see what you did if you want to share. You're welcome to email me a pic and hopefully I can include it on my blog at the end of the month wrap up. Anyhow, once this list is updated I'll be sure to always refer to this post everyone can keep up with all the participants.

These are the lovely and fearless members of the Fearless February S.A. Pride so far!!!!!!!  Come on, if you haven't joined yet you're more than welcome. We'd love to have you!!!!

1.   Laura over at
2.  Lillian at
3.  Velosewer at
4.  Jenny over at
5.  Flora at
6.  Faye at
7.  Eleyna at
8.  Aminat at
9.  Uma at
10.  Andrea at
11. Lyyne at
12. Mocha Scrapper at
13. Nothy Lane at
14. Sharon at
15. FunnyGrrl at
16. Sophie at
17. Myra at
18. Dorothy at
19. Chris Lucas at
20. Lisa H at
21. Marie at
22. Catja at
23. Teri at
24. Erin at
25. Towanda at
26. Brenda at
27. Dibs at
28. Elise at
29. Cezanne at
30. Suzie at
31. Allison at
32. Jackie at
33. Karen at
34. Juanita at
35. Alice at
36. Edris at
37. Florence at
38. Juliet at
39. Laura at
40.  Prachi A at
41. Sarah at
42. Kathy at

If anyone else wants to join or if I accidentally left you off, please leave your name and blog info in the comment section.

Also don't forget to pick up the FFSA blog button HERE!!!! It's a great way to advertise the Sew Along!!!

In honor of the Sew Along, Lillian from Lillian Couture is sponsoring a giveaway on her blog HERE.

I'll be revealing my sewing plans on Friday!!!! Can't wait!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Weekend of Repeats---McCall's 5394 & 6654

It's been a week of steady sewing. I've been at work on some great wardrobe builder pieces---2 ponte knit skirts, 2 leggings, and a cowl neck top. Below are 2 of the pieces that are finished and the other pieces are near complete. I would've had them finished but I took a couple of hours to study draping and pattern drafting. No, my new draping book haven't arrived yet so I relied on my older editions. The concepts are definitely becoming clearer and I'm finding myself dissecting RTW designs and thinking of my own alot more easier. I have to admit it's alot of fun!!!!Anyway, I digress. The 2 pieces I sewed, shown below, are repeats. I can definitely say they are my TNT legging and knit pencil skirt patterns.

McCall 5394
McCall's 5394. You may recall I made 2 pairs HERE. These are my "imitation leather" leggings. They're not pleather, but instead a stretchy fabric I found in the dance/activewear section at Jo-Ann's. From a distance it looks like leather but up close you can see all the sparkle in it. I love the effect. And I won't have to worry about sweating too much in these.

(see the mini sparkles in the fabric.)

McCall 6654
It was a little cool this morning so I wore my newly sewn ponte skirt with a black top and scarf. Excuse my squinting---think I had too much sun in my eyes. I first made this skirt HERE. Here's an upclose of the fabric.....

Ok, that's just 2 of the 5 pieces I'm working on. I'll post the others later as I wear them. The FEARLESS FEBRUARY Sew-Along (details HERE) is less than a week away and I'm nearly done with my planning. I'm so excited!!! Can't wait to unveil my sewing plans. And I can't wait to see yours. It's not too late to join in if you haven't already!!! Until next time, happy sewing!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Test Driving a Pattern/ VIDEO Review

Ok, so I made this coat Butterick  in December. I made it with the strong suspicion that it wouldn't turn out perfectly. Strong suspicion is putting it lightly. I knew it wasn't going to work out . That's mainly because I KNEW I didn't have the RIGHT fabric to work with. I needed something thicker that would hold it's shape but just couldn't find anything locally.  I knew, I knew, I knew it probably wouldn't work but I did it anyway. And you know what......

I'm so glad I did!!!!!

I'm so glad my sewing has made it past the point of needing to appeal to my ego. Past the point of feeling seriously insecure.

So you ask, "why would you take the time to sew something you weren't sure would work out for you"?

Well my answer to you is.........for.........the........(wait for it, it's coming).........the SHEER EXPERIENCE!!! 

Let me just share some of my insights about Butterick 5822 with you by video.......

Ok, hope that gave you at least a little insight into my thought processes regarding taking on projects. I'm definitely alot more maturer in my sewing. Every failed project isn't a blow to my ego. It's exactly the opposite. Most of the learning we do as sewers is by hands on experience.  Just working up the courage and the nerve to do something despite the outcome is half the battle. Trust me I wasn't always like this. I was always hesitant and overly cautious. I've learned that you usually won't ever really feel ready to take on some sewing projects so it's just best to dive on it. Sometimes we learn as we go. As always one might be surprised by what is learned and how they can use that knowledge to better their work. In light of the upcoming Fearless February Sew-Along and all of your sewing in general----I really wanted to get that message across. So get out there and do some pattern test driving. You'd be surprised at how much you will learn. And remember.....
Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. 
Auguste Rodin 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some Fearless February Motivation on the WAY!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful MLK day on yesterday. It was really neat that the Inauguration coincided with it!!! I was planning to do a video tonight but my hair is a hot mess! How do I know, well my daughter looked at me and told me so LOL!!!! Can't go onto the world wide web looking crazy! LOL! So I've postponed it for later this week. In the meantime I've nearly picked out all of the pieces I intend to sew for the Fearless February Challenge!!! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! I'm beyond excited! If this is the first time you're hearing about it then you can visit my post about it HERE!!!! Come one and come all! This is a challenge encourages us ALL to push the boundaries of our sewing by trying to sew something we've either put off, been intimidated by, or have always wanted to try. I think the energy is SO much more great with all of us doing it as a group. There's strength and inspiration in numbers!!!!! So why don't you join the sew-along? We'd all love to have you!!!!  Sew-Along details HERE and you can pick up the Button to add to your blog HERE! Please feel free to spread the word!!!!!!!!!!!

 I'll reveal my sewing plans on February 1st. I'm still running around gathering up supplies. I had a great time looking through fashion mags and patterns, deciding what to sew. But I can give you somewhat of a hint of one thing I'll be tackling. Guess what got shipped this afternoon and is on the way to me......................hint: it's a sewing book................and it was on my Christmas Wish list.................Give up?


Yes! Connie Crawford's, "The Art of Fashion Draping" textbook. I already own her 3rd edition and Helen Joseph Armstrong's Draping for Apparel Design--but I after much research knew this would suit me better!!!! It was released in 2012 and has at least 200+ extra pages then my 3rd edition. I have been stalking this thing for months. It's been holding steady at around $90-$100. So when I saw it on for $55 you know I had to pounce on it. Needless to say I will be draping something and sewing it up to wear before February's up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One act of fearlessness!!!! I'm so excited!!!! Next month I plan to take "fearless" to the next level and keep that mindset for the rest of the year. We're going to do some big things this year. Can't you feel it. Ok, I'm getting a bit too excited. Let me get back to cutting out some leggings. This week I plan to complete 3 knit pencil skirts, 2 leggings, and a top. All is cut out but the one pair of leggins and the top. Then the sewing begins! Gotta make up for missing 2 weeks of sewing......

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fearless February "Blog Button"

Woot, woot!!!!!!!! You guys are amazing! Lots of you have signed on to participate in the FEARLESS FEBRUARY Sew-Along (see my last Post)!!!!!!!!!!! So exciting! You guys have fueled my fire even more! Sounds like you've got lots of great projects lined up and I can't wait to follow along with each of you. I applaud each of you for stepping up, moving outside your comfort zone and taking your sewing to another level. I hope to create a blog list---a directory of all of the participants so others can follow your progress too (as February nears I'll request that info). I've personally been looking through fashion mags and making some thoughtful decisions on what I want to make. I think I've got a nice little list going.

There was an inquiry about a blog button. Well here it is. This is my first time making one and I used an online tutorial so I hope it works ok. Let me know if you have any problems. Feel free to post and share with others!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also if you need a "larger pic" feel free to copy/save/upload the one from my last post.
(Button code below)

Here's the code in this little box.......
How to use the code---2 options (Add in blog post or add on blog sidebar):

1. You can insert it in a blog post as I have by pasting that code you created into the body of the blog post.  First you must click on the Edit HTML tab and then paste the code into the body of the post. Then switch back over to the Compose tab. 

2. To add this button to your sidebar in Blogger, go to your Dashboard, Design and Add Gadget. Click on Add HTML and in the box that opens, paste the entire code you created. Click SAVE and then you can preview it on your blog and move it to the perfect location on your sidebar.

Well that's it for now. I've got to get back to some sewing and working on my February plans. I'll be back on tomorrow for a VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Toodles!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The "Fearless February" Sew-Along.....Part I

I still can't believe how long it's taken me to get a handle on this week. Geesh, you go out of town one weekend and everything just gets thrown off. I'm going to have to sew like a mad woman this weekend to catch up. And that's good since I'm beginning to experience "sewing withdrawal" symptoms.

(Lions are fearless! Couldn't think of a more suitable symbol for the sew-along. I'm doubtful a picture of some spools of thread would've made the same impact LOL!!!)

I know this month isn't over with just yet but I had to reveal my sewing plans for February. I'm just that EXCITED!!! I'm sponsoring my first ever Sew Along---the "Fearless February Sew-Along". The purpose of this sew- along is to encourage myself as well as other to take a big step with their sewing and venture out into some uncharted territory. 

I've ALWAYS wanted to have a month set aside where I could attempt/tackle sewing  projects that I've always wanted to but have always been put on the back burner due to reluctance, intimidation, or plain laziness. Come on, you know what I'm talking about. It's the project that you ALWAYS find an excuse not to sew---for one reason or another. What is it? A coat, tailored shirt, pants, suit, vest or skirt??? How about we go through the list of excuses.

I'm a new sewer?
I don't have the experience?
Those techniques intimidate me?
What if I fail?
I don't feel confident in my skills?
That's not my area of expertise?

And the list goes on and on and on and on and on! You get my drift!!!!

Tsk....Tsk! We're kicking all those excuses to the curve and are going for it!!!

Let's just push all those doubts, worries, reluctance and fears to the side and take the plunge. It doesn't matter whether we succeed or fail. What matters is that we learn. Sometimes we're so bent on succeeding that we forget that the experience and learning is the best part. Any any sewer worth his/her salt has a history built on both. Not to pop your bubble, but if you're sewing a jacket for the first time it may not be perfect--I can asure you it won't be. But I guarantee you'll learn how to make it better the next time. But you'll never get to that point if you don't take the first step. Besides aren't you even the least curious about what it would be like to just to tackle that sewing project(s) you've been putting off or avoiding. What about the one you're terrified to tackle??? This quote says it perfectly................

I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.

~Robert H. Schuller
So, Let's go for it!!! Well we have a little more than 10 days to prepare and the entire month of February. Let's make some "sewing magic"!!!. That's great considering you're taking the plunge. Well you are, aren't you???? I'm hoping that by taking such bold steps in February we'll invigorate our sewing for the rest of the year. Start thinking about which project(s) you'd like to sew. I'm getting mine together now and will reveal them next week some time. I'll outline my strategy and sewing plans too!!!  But I'm planning to go big. I've got nothing to lose and alot of learning to gain!!!!! Also if you participate I'd love to showcase your experiences somehow. Maybe in a flickr album or link them back to my page. I'll look into it. Be sure to spread the word to others. Meanwhile.....

How about you? Wanna join the sew-along???? What would you sew and why?????

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sewing Contest and Gearing Up!!!

I’m around but there hasn't been any sewing. Last week we received the bad news that my Sister-In-Law's Mother passed away. She was such a phenomenal woman, mother, and career woman! She was amazing and touched the lives of so many people!!!So of of course we took time to be with our family. I’m just getting pack and plan to pick up with some  projects this week and outline my plans for the rest of this month and next month. So be on the lookout for that. I definitely plan to build some momentum. I've already declared that this will be a GREAT SEWING YEAR! My faith is at an all-time high level. Don't let the slow start full ya. There's lots to come (wink)!

 Also, I know this is a bit late but there’s a contest being hosted by Sew It All. It's the opportunity to be a featured guest on the show! You can find the contest details here. Please note tomorrow is the last day to enter. I definitely plan to enter. As I told you before I'm going out for as many competitions and new opportunities I can. I'll definitely be sure to pass anything I hear about on to you. And please do likewise. We've got to broaden our horizons, try new things, and take some chances. It's not living if you don't.

Ok, on that note I'm signing off for the night. I'm doing a better job of getting to bed on time so I can get up super early---4:45-5am. I love getting up early!!! I get more done that way. Anywho.....until next time. Happy Sewing!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sewing Jots and Tittles 1.10.13

This is my first Sewing Jots and Tittles post of the year and my brain already feels like it's spinning out of control. So many things to do, and to see, and to try, etc... I've gotta apply the brakes! LOL!!!!...................

Sewing, Fashions and Such

I want one!!!! I forgot to add this to my Christmas wish list (will go back and do that). This will be great for practicing draping and some pattern drafting!!!

Still brainstorming on how to use this ponte knit! Love the print but it's a bit loud. Wanted leggings but I'm considering a dress.....but I'd settle for a fitted skirt..........hmmm, decisions, decisions!

Yeah, I've got this on the brain......

I was watching Abraham Lincoln..........Vampire slayer (don't you judge me, it was rather entertaining). Anywho, I love reading short bios (aka Wikipedia entries). So I read Abraham Lincoln's, then his wife's, and then ran into Elizabeth Keckley---who I discovered was a close friend of Mrs. Lincoln. And she was a popular seamstress at the time! Impressive!

I entered the Aquafina Project Runway Challenge (see lasts post) but I didn't make the cut! No worries. I was great to enter and I look forward to entering more contests!

Project Runway alum April Johnston is having a Launch Party of her Mangled Courtesan line at a local boutique next week. I'm thinking of going. It would be cool to look at some boutique fashions, maybe take a better picture with APRIL, and get dressed up. If I have babysitting then I'm there!!!


 Yayyyy! Orchids are blooming at work! I swear this is one of the most beautiful flowers!!!!

 Sometimes I look at her and I can already imagine her as a teenager. Trust me I'm not trying to rush into that LOL!!!!!!!!

 The longest strand of hair on my head is gray. Look at the guy. They're just popping up all over---long strands of them. Until recently I didn't know I'd been growing them all these years. LOL!!!

 Family New Year's photo card  "photo shoot"....

 "The Wee-One" making animal shadows during a break.....

.....and play choking Daddy!

A co-worker brought in cookies from Tunisia. What a real treat!

Brined a turkey shortly after Thanksgiving. Instead of trying to find large plastic container I decided to line the refrigerator produce bin with a trash can and use it to "soak" my 15lb turkey. Easy solution......

....and the results were perfect. I'm telling you I've been brining for years (the turkey is super juicy and cooks really fast). I WON'T cook my turkey any other way!!! BTW, for those unfamiliar with brining it's a salt/sugar/herb/seasonings stock you make to soak your turkey in. The turkey becomes infused with flavor and get's tenderized in the process. I use THIS brine recipe and THIS recipe just for roasting (just the roasting instructions, I haven't tried his brine recipe since I like my own). The trick is not to soak your turkey too long or it can become too salty. But if you follow recommendations you should get it right and will LOVE your turkey!!!!!!!

Well that's all for me. Do you have any sewing jots and tittles to report?????

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My first daring attempt for the New Year.....

Happy New Year Everyone!!!! It's nice to be back! I took a little time off, as I usually do at the beginning of the year, to get myself centered and get my priorities on track. I'm starting off the year by doing something bold-----well at least something bold by my standards. On a whim I thought I'd enter the Aquafina Project Runway 11 Challenge---you know just for fun. Check the link for details. Simply put you just had to enter a drawing/pic/sketch that showcased the essence of who you are and then include the caption......I am Pure______(fill in the blank). The big prize is 4 of the picks get to go to NYC to see the Project Runway 11 Season Finale Fashion Show. Oh how I would LOVE to win!!!!!!!!!!

Again, I figured I'd try some new things this year. You know go out on a limb. Be a little bolder. I'm NO MAJOR artist or anything. But hey what have I got to lose, right. So I'd been thinking about this challenge for the last few days and thought I had a design in mind---one I made earlier last year. Well it turns out I somehow left my sketchbook at work. I almost just ditched the whole idea but at the last minute thought I'd just try to sketch something up real quick. I just took 15 minutes or so. I can't really say where the inspiration came from. I just started drawing and it came. Of course the thought of water itself had something to do with it. I don't think it's all that bad. So here's my drawing.......
(Hubby laughed that she appeared pigeon-toed, like he is LOL!)

and my caption is
"I am Pure Stimulation"

I was really drawn to that description of myself. I love Merriam Webster's definition for stimulation---"to excite to activity or growth,  or greater activity". I LOVE to inspire others and help them achieve their potential so I think it fits. Hopefully no one will think of submission in any lewd ways--the combination of this dress and the word stimulation. I don't know, the split on my dress is awful high! LOL!

Well keep your fingers crossed for me.  We'll see what happens. There are some really nice submissions.

Nevertheless I'm proud that I did something out of the box (and put it out there for the world to see) despite all my doubts and second guessing. Sometimes you've just got to try something new and daring. It's liberating!!!!

Update 1/10/13  I didn't make the final 10 cut. But thanks for all of your wonderful compliments and I was more than happy to give it a shot!!!!!!!!!!

How about you, have you done anything NEW, Daring or BIG in the sewing department this New Year????


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